BT made public yesterday the fact that its IP Stream Connect product would not now be available until Q2 09. That’s fiscal Q2. ie September 09. This is a huge slip considering that last November the industry was being told not to order any more ATM based central pipes and to expect to have migrated all their 20CN IP Stream traffic over to a 21CN Hostlink connection.
For the uninitiated IP Stream is the technology used by BT for most of their ADSL connections. The connections to the BT ADSL network from Timico and other ISPs use ATM. The relevance for ISPs that are BT customers, and that’s most of the ISPs in the UK, is that they will have to keep ordering old style ATM pipes.
The issue here is that these connections are expensive to install and had minimum contract terms of 12 months. This could be crippling as ISPs typically depreciate the capital spend on a BT Central over 5 years. Also they could be ordering a pipe that they might only need for three months whilst they waited for IP Stream Connect to go live whilst being tied in to a 12 month contract.
Using 21CN hostlinks offer a multitude of benefits, not least of which are improved quality and customer experience.
Fortunately BT has responded to the stinging criticism of the ISP community, me included, and come up with more favourable contract terms.
Whilst large consumer ISPs have been heavily cricised for their not totally transparent bandwidth capping and throttling polices these are the practical results of dropping their prices to unsustainable levels. In other words you get what you pay for. It is already difficult enough for the industry to keep its prices low in the face of increased usage from applications such as iPlayer and YouTube without being burdened with more costs.
Hopefully we will now have weathered this BT induced storm.